The “I remember page…” on the Sulphur Dell website (www.sulphurdell.com) gives folks a chance to relive some of their special memories about the old place. Memories of visits to the ballpark with one’s family is always a highlight, as are stories about favorite players or events. Often the stories are about being a “kid” at Sulphur Dell. Here are a few of the best stories:
“I remember as a kid during the late forties spending many days and nights at ‘The Dell’. I have many memories of the Vols and other teams: after the game was over running the base paths and sliding into home plate, fighting for the game ball that Hal Jeffcoat threw to center field.”
–James Shacklett, Nashville, Tennessee
“I remember…as a kid that lived 2 blocks from ‘The Dell’, my brothers and I never missed a home game. We would get there early and shag batting practice balls as they cleared the short right field fence; if you were lucky enough to get one in the scuffle there was always officer Kimbrough ready to gather the batting practice balls and give you a worthless ticket to the game (worthless because we could always see the game atop the Atlantic Ice house, a box car, or on Jackson Street at Wheby’s Produce building. We would miss out on the sale of the practice ball after it was cleaned up and sold as the homerun ball after the Fifth Avenue gates were opened in the bottom of the seventh to some lucky kid whose father could afford a dollar! Later on, at the age of eleven years old and my brother Roy at age fourteen, we were hired by Whitey Larken to run the score board. One time my brother Roy and I fell asleep while working the score board during a double header! I can go on and on with these stories about my times at ‘The Dell’.”
—Larry, Roy, and Jerry Barber, Nashville, TN
“I remember…being an eight-year-old when my Uncle Bill took me to my first Nashville Vols game at Sulphur Dell. Jimmy Wasdell was batting, and I heard a crack, which we thought was a broken bat, but a pitched ball had broken his jaw. I went to every game I could, and instead of movie stars, I plastered my bedroom walls with pictures of Wasdell, Whitey Platt, Charlie Gilbert, and other “cute” ball players.”
–Annette Rose Levy Ratkin, Nashville, TN
“I remember…in April of 1961 my two brothers, two of their friends and myself where at a night game at the Dell. It was a very cold night early in the season and we had an old army blanket pulled up around us. A photographer for the newspaper came by and took our picture as we were five of the 400 fans who braved the cold that night!”
–Pete Mason, Nashville, TN
“I remember…as a boy visiting Sulphur Dell and getting there early and being at the corner of the stands in right field and getting the players autographs. I can also remember after the last out was made in a game and all kids would empty the stands and go to the outfield and a Vols player would throw the ball in the air for the kids to fight over…”
–Robert D. Bullington, Sr.
Soon we get a chance to do it all over again. No, not all of us will be children, but many will, and one day they will tell their own memory of a new Sulphur Dell. Families will be able to relive, to renew, to make new memories…
You can bet there are plenty of Nashville’s baseball fans who will become “kids” once more.